The party started on the derelict lab ship in orbit around the planetary fragment. Believing that they had failed to fully explore the vessel, they decided to continue their explorations in addition to restoring power so that logs could be retrieved.
Most of the crew quarters were found in disarray. Ashley was somewhat put out by the class of citizens that must have occupied these rooms. Dirty, unkempt individuals. She was, however, pleasantly surprised to find one of the rooms neat and orderly. She recognized a few of the items located in the room as reminiscent of devices she in the sorority house at University. She retrieved a Clothing Consultant, Hair Styler, and Sonic Stain Remover in addition to a small droid programmed with Profession – Tailoring 2.
Daphne made an odd discovery in the Galley. A sink full of dirty dishes with an unopened box nearby. Further examination of the box revealed it to be a sanitation droid. The markings on the box indicated that it had been delivered some 4-5 months prior. Some debate amongst the crew occurred on why a sanitation droid was left inactivated next a sink fully of dirty dishes? Was this a trick? Could the droid be infected? Could droids be infected? They decided not to activate the droid but saved it for further research later – perhaps using the ship infection widget to test the robot in some fashion.
Tomi made straight for the sick bay to reconnoiter the drug situation, she was able to find 10 doses of slow drug, 10 doses of fast drug, and a TL13 Medkit. The rest of the equipment which might be expected to be found in a lab ship had been removed.
The crew was then able to rig up a method to provide a modest amount of fuel to the reactors and restore power. Ashley and Slug were caught a bit off guard by the sudden restoration of gravity and were injured as the ships systems came suddenly online. Tomi was able to successfully retrieve logs from the ships computer and did a little digging as to the nature of this vessel. They learned the following:
- The was purchased by the Brown and Volokh Partnership (BVP) corporation earlier this year. They made their way here for another look at the facility on the planetary fragment below.
- References were made which indicated this was not the first such expedition. A prior expedition had occurred in the past which had procured technology samples which were ultimately provided to Erik Ericsson for research. The second expedition occurred when BVP agents learned of the facility discovered by the Heinlein crew on Maikaguun 3.
- The ship arrived in system some 4 months ago. The scientists on board left for the surface and never returned. The ship eventually ran out of power.
They decided to boost the orbit of the lab ship into something a bit more stable. The odd gravitational effects of the planetary fragment made this a bit of a challenge, but Daphne was able to expertly pilot the ship into an indefinitely stable albeit elliptical orbit.
The crew brings their new-found loot back to the ship for later analysis. Slug attempts to deploy a survey drone into an orbit that will relay signals from the surface back up to the ship. His first attempt damages a drone, the second attempt is successful. He assigns the utility robots to first repair the droid, then continue on addressing any other needs the ship has. Ein’s Good Boy program is activated and he is bid to keep an eye on things while they descend to the planet.
The crew then set their sights on the crashed alien vessel below. Daphne put on her small spacecraft hat and was able to again navigate the odd gravitational influences and touch down near by the alien craft. She was able to approach using a spiral pattern so that they were able to get a good look at the relic on the way down. The alien vessel was only ‘half there’. It appeared as though the rear half the thing was just suddenly vaporized. The front half dropped from orbit and buried much of the nose into a rocky formation as it crashed.
Everyone cautiously began exploring the entrance to the wreckage, probing for a way inside. The bulkhead doors had sealed when the craft lost pressure. Lacking cutting equipment, Daphne throws a few well-placed rounds from her PGMP to blow the door off the frame with minimal damage to the surrounding ship. As the begin to explore the ship, she finds that what remains is largely crew quarters, the bridge, and a single laboratory.
Ashley, ever interested in human interest stories, starts with the crew quarters and everyone else follows suit. They find that while the wreck is frozen, the contents were fairly well preserved. A few uniforms, shaped as though made for a human being are located. A small card with a picture on the front is found. The universal translation program they found on Maikaguun III translates the text to read Taj Mahal. They also locate a small, felt-lined wooden box. Inside is a primitive however beautiful chrome slug thrower bearing a small inscription. Colt 45. USMC. 10 Nov, 1775
Next, they encounter a laboratory with a small computer system. After some work, they are able to extract some data. Most of the information is duplicates what was already learned in the Underground Facility of Maikaguun III. One of the cabinets in the lab has a large box filled with something called Luna Bars. Daphne snatches them up, laying her claim.
Moving on to the Bridge, the first thing they notice are two corpses in vac suits. On examination, they are a bit surprised to see that they are completely human. Indistinguishable from any random person they might run into in the High Port of Barnett. A quick science check proved that these folks survived the crash, but ultimately died of asphyxiation. A retracting transparency is found on a conference table in the middle of the room. It seems to show the route the ship took from its home port – 10 jumps away.
Further study of the computer systems here shows that a debate between the military and the scientists on board was the last thing noted in the ships logs. The scientists were angry at the order to evacuate the system and destroy their research base on Maikaguun III. They had convinced the military commander of the vessel that one last trip to the facility on Maikaguun IV should be undertaken. The solar flares interfering with the defensive systems in the facility could end soon. It could be thousands of years before flares would again render the facility approachable. The technology in that facility may be the only thing capable of warding off The Doom causing the collapse of their civilization
Much of the rest of the data on the ships computers were protected by security protocols, however they were able to able to extract a few fragments here and there:
- The logs seem to indicate that the ship arrived here in the year 2729. Basic investigations lead everyone to believe this ship is between 2500 and 3000 years old.
- They are from a civilization based on a world called Terra. Terra is the home to an empire called The Second Imperium. References are also made to ‘The Rule of Man’
Our intrepid band if fearless hero types decide to now explore what lies below the metallic plate. Slug manages to recall a drone from the ship to help with this endeavor. They are able to locate a large hole that has been excavated out near the Launch from the lab ship. The hole goes down some 100 meters or so before where it intersects with some maintenance tunnels. The group begins making it’s way down the tunnel which run in wide circular path. The drone, scouting out just ahead of the party, transmits data bank to Slug’s neural comms. A robot of some kind comes into view on the scans, Slug sends a quick warning to everyone to take cover. The machine, a Centurion manufactured in The Network turns to open fire. Ashley and Tomi, being quick on the draw, manage to get behind cover but realize they lack adequate arms to deal with this kind of threat. The centurion is able to score a hit with its gauss rifles on Slug, but misses on attacks against the other crew members. Daphne and Fenton both maneuver into positions, taking shots as they go. Ashley, heads to Slug to apply some first aid. Additional shots are exchanged, Slug is again injured, but ultimately Fenton is able to dispatch the droid with authority.
The party realizes that Slug really needs more advanced medical attention than can be performed on here in a dirty tunnel. Further, they make note of a vertical shaft being guarded by the droid. They lack the proper equipment to make use of this shaft and agree they should probably return back to the Launch and regroup.
To be continued.